Grads Fight Sallie Mae’s 'Unemployment Penalty’ on Student Loans

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50,000 people join campaign on Change.org calling on Sallie Mae to immediately stop charging jobless students a $50 “unemployment fee” per loan for forbearance

“For Sallie Mae to tack on these extra fees just to pad their profits is to kick people like me when we’re already down,” Gray continued. “Charging a forbearance fee is wrong, and more than 50,000 people who agree are standing with me.”

More than 50,000 people in all 50 states have joined a popular campaign on Change.org calling on Sallie Mae to stop charging jobless borrowers a $50 fee for forbearance on their student loans. Borrowers who can’t pay the extra fee are put into default.

Stef Gray, a recent graduate of a public college who took out private student loans through Sallie Mae, is leading the campaign on Change.org after being hit with the fee when she asked for a forbearance.

“What Sallie Mae is doing is wrong,” said Gray, who launched the campaign on Change.org. “My loan already grows by more than $1,000 in interest every three months when it’s in forbearance, and I pay almost 10% in interest because my parents weren’t alive to cosign my loans.”

“For Sallie Mae to tack on these extra fees just to pad their profits is to kick people like me when we’re already down,” Gray continued. “Charging a forbearance fee is wrong, and more than 50,000 people who agree are standing with me.”

News of the online petition campaign’s success is likely to increase pressure on Sallie Mae, which is actively trying to build its private student loan business. Gray plans to organize more actions against Sallie Mae, including a social media campaign.

“What Stef has accomplished in just a few weeks is remarkable,” said Change.org Senior Organizer William Winters. “She’s obviously tapped into an issue that a lot of people feel strongly about, especially with student debt rising steadily amid high unemployment among college grads. Change.org is about empowering ordinary people to take action on issues that matter to them, and it’s been incredible watching Stef’s campaign take off.”

Live signature totals from Stef Gray’s campaign:
http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-sallie-mae-stop-the-unemployment-penalty
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Charlotte Hill
Change.org
(202) 684-2552
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